Early Wednesday morning in Baltimore, Maryland, a 106-year-old statue of lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key, who penned what would become the lyrics to the national anthem, was vandalized with paint.

The Baltimore Sun reports that it was “exactly 203” years ago that Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner and now the statue honoring him was splashed with red paint and spray-painted with the words “racist anthem.” There were other messages on the walkway surrounding the statue and fountain, including “slave owner” and “blood on his hands.” Words from his poem extended to the sidewalk: “No refuge could save/ Hireling or slave/ From terror of flight/ Or gloom of grave.”


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